Sunday, February 26, 2012

1 Feb 2012: Twenty third witness day 2

Application involving Quader Molla
Defence counsel Tazul Islam came to the dais and submitted as follows: “Our client Abdul Kader Mullah is a diabetic patient. He has been suffering from diabetics for last 25 years. The date 20.11.2011 was prescribed for an appointment by the doctor of BIRDEM Hospital as continuing process of his treatment. So he must be taken to the BIRDEM Hospital as per appointment otherwise it would be in breach of compliance with the Order passed by this Tribunal on 20.04.11.”

Justice Nizamul Huq: It is the Jail doctor who will solely decide whether it is necessary to send the accused to the hospital or not. The condition of the patient might have been improved that is why he might not have been sent to the hospital.

Justice Zaheer: Learned counsel, so there is no violation of the Order.

Defence: My lordships, whether the physical condition of my patient is good or bad, it should be decided by the doctor of BIRDEM Hospital as he is the regular patient of the said doctor of BIRDEM Hospital not of the jail doctor.

Justice Nizamul Huq: Learned defence counsel, you cannot say that jail doctor is not capable to give proper treatment. So if necessary, jail doctor must send him to the hospital. Learned prosecutor please inquire this matter whether jail doctor are taking proper steps or not.

Prosecutor (Haider Ali): My lord, whether Mr. Kader Mollah has not been sent to the hospital, it is merely a presumption by the defence counsel.

Defence: No, it is not our presumption my Lord, it is fact that he has not been sent to the hospital on the scheduled date.

Justice Nizamul Huq: It will be better if we solve this matter not by passing order but through the prosecution. We informally require the prosecution to inquire into the whole matter i.e. what is the condition of accused, whether the jail doctor give him proper treatment or not. Then if it is necessary, we will pass an Order.

Sayedee Witness no 23 examination-in-chief continuation
There was a special arrangement for witness no. 23 as he had been admitted to Hospital and was 81 years old. He gave his whole testimony lying on a sickbed, a precedent for judicial proceedings in Bangladesh.

The Prosecutor, Rana Das Gupta) came to the dais and continued examination in chief of witness no. 23 again from the previous day.

Prosecutor: Mr. Madhusudan, can you tell us, when your brother had died?

Witness: Before 1970.

Prosecutor: Whether your two elder sisters had been married or not?

Witness: Yes, they are married.

Prosecutor: Where are they?

Witness: They have migrated to India.

Prosecutor: Are you married?

Witness: Yes, I am.

Prosecutor: When did you get married? Can you remember?

Witness: Yes, so far I can remember. It might be few days before the Liberation War on 1971.

Prosecutor: What is the name of your wife?

Witness: Shefali Ghorami.

Prosecutor: Where is your Father-in-laws house?

Witness: It is situated at Kachumonia village of Morolgang police station under Bagerhat district.

Prosecutor: What is the name of your Father-in-law?

Witness: Sri Nath Shikder.

Prosecutor: Where did you go after getting married along with your wife?

Witness: At my own village Hoglabunia.

Prosecutor: Can you tell us please, exactly in which month you get married?

Witness: So far I can remember, it might be end of the month of Falguun (a Bengali calendar month; it is the 11th among 12 months under Bengali calendar).

Prosecutor: Can you tell us, whether there was any committee during the Liberation War?

Witness: Yes, few days later of my marriage, looting, arson had been started in Pirojpur and there was a committee named ‘Peace Committee’.

Prosecutor: Mr. Madhu, Can you remember who were the members of Peace Committee?

Witness: Yes, I can. They were Sekander Sikder, Moslem Maolana, Danesh Mollah, Delwar (he did not mention the surname i.e. whether it is Shikder, Saidee or Mollick).

Prosecutor: What was Delwar’s profession?

Witness: He used to run a small business.

Prosecutor: Where?

Witness: He had no permanent shop, he had a temporary shop.

Prosecutor: Where was that temporary shop were situated?

Witness: I could not remember it now as it is the incident of 40 years ago.

Prosecutor: Mr. Madhu, was this shop situated in Parerhat Bazar?

On this point defence raise their objection as this question is asked like a leading question which is not allowed in examination in chief. Then the prosecutor withdrew the question.

Witness: Can you tell us, in which name Delwar was know?

Prosecutor: Delwar was known as Delwar Sikder then, but now I have been heard that he is known as Sayedee.
On this point there was a little argument between the defence counsel and the prosecutor. Prosecutor wants to establish that Madhusudan meant Delwar is known as Delwar Sayedee and defence argued that Madhusudan meant Delwar is known as Delwar Sikder. After that Justice Nizamul Huq resolved the matter by noting down that, “the name Sayedee has come after asking 2 or 3 questions to the witness.”
Prosecutor: Mr. Madhusudan, can you tell us, whether there was any other committee then?

Witness: Yes, other than Peace Committee they formed a Rajakar force at the same time.

Prosecutor: After the formation of Peace Committee and Rajakar Force, did they do anything in your village Huglabunia?

Witness: Yes, after the formation of those committees, they came to our village and started looting, arson, killings etc.

Prosecutor: What did you do while they (Rajakar) entered into your village?

Witness: We were so scared that we would not even come in front of them.

Prosecutor: Mr. Madhu, can you tell us now, exactly what happened in Huglabunia village?

Witness: One night they came to the village and abducted 9 persons from our village. Next morning, we came to know about the fact and they never returned to our village.

Prosecutor: Can you tell us name of those persons?

Witness: Yes, they are Tarani Sikder, Ramakanto Sikder, Banikanto Sikder, Nirmal Sikder, Horolaal Malakaar, son of Malu Haldaar, Prakash Sikder, Nirmal Sikder and his brother in law (name is unknown).

Prosecutor: Can you please remember any other incident at that time?
Note: On this point the witness Madhusudan become very emotional and he could but started crying. Then he started to dispose as follows:
Witness: After 3 or 4 days of that incident, rajakaar came to my house also.

Prosecutor: When they came?

Witness: They came at 4 pm or 4:30 pm.

Prosecutor: Were you at home?

Witness: No, I was not at home. I was at marketplace.

Prosecutor: Who were they?

Witness: My wife could not tell me the names of those person as she did not know them, however, she told me the guy who persecuted you to become a Muslim was among those persons.

Prosecutor: Did they do any thing else?

Witness: Yes, she said to me that she was raped by that person who persecuted me to become a Muslim. Then she said, “I am suffering in severe pain; it hurts. You do not need to be worried about me; you just flee away.”

Prosecutor: Who persecuted you in Muslim?

Witness: Delwar Shikder. He said to us, “If you become Muslims, you will not be killed.” I, Krishna Saha, Dr. Ganesh were persecuted in the same day at a mosque. After 2/3 days Krishna Saha was killed even being persecuted to become a Muslim. Then they changed my name to ‘Ali Ashraaf’ and they changed Krishno Saha’s name to ‘Ali Akbar’.

Prosecutor: Did you continue practising your new religion (as a Muslim)?

Witness: No. After the liberation war I did not continue the same and I did not tell that anyone (that I was persecuted). Another two men who was also persecuted with me, one of them was killed and another one was migrated to India.

Prosecutor: Where is your wife?

Witness: After 4/5 months of the looting, my wife gave birth to a child at the end of Agrahyon (Bengali calendar month).

Prosecutor: What happened to your baby girl?

Defence objected at this stage as the prosecution witness did not even mention that the baby was a ‘girl’. The Tribunal member agreed with the defence counsel and then the prosecutor amended his question withdrawing the word ‘girl’.

Witness: It was a girl named ‘Shandhya’.

Prosecutor: Where is Shefali (Ghorami) and Shandhya?

Witness: The people criticised my wife because she was raped and they presumed the child was born in pursuance of that incident. I discussed with my brother-in-law Kartik Shikder and he advised to send them to India. I sent them and since then I never met them.

Prosecutor: Have you ever got married?

Witness: No.

Prosecutor: Did you give your statement to the investigation officer (Helal Uddin)?

Witness: Yes.

Prosecutor: You said you know Delwar Shikder; can please confirm whether he is present in this courtroom?
The Tribunal member Justice Zaheer objecting the question asked the prosecutor, “The witness is lying on a sickbed and he is not in a position to move his head even, how he would recognize him...what is the point of asking this question to him?”

Thus the examination in chief was over.

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